Steven Holl wins competition for Tirana’s new convention center

The project by Domus Guest Editor 2023 is set to intertwine art and architecture, innovation, and tradition in the capital city of Albania. 

Steven Holl Architects unanimously won the competition for Tirana’s new large convention center and hotel, Expo Albania. The project originates from an artistic approach, guided by artist Agnieszka Kurant, as a version of her “End of Signature”. The artist will collect signatures from local communities and fuse them into a single line, unfurling across the landscape. Traversing the rectangular volumes of the exhibition center, the line will fluidly shape the CLT roof trusses.

The project aims for the highest ecological standards with geothermal heating and cooling and innovative white solar shingles to maximize natural energy. A large pool of rainwater and gray water will characterize the public space. The exhibition park will reuse excavated earth to create mounds that will serve as acoustic barriers. The adjacent hotel will celebrate the ancient Albanian wine culture. The winning team includes Steven Holl Architects, Agnieszka Kurant, Atelier 4, Atelier Markgraph, Stoss, and Arup.

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